Posted by: Whitney | January 16, 2015

A Bird Named Enza Flew to ISU: The Flu Epidemic of 1918

When I learned about the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 in grade school, a little playground rhyme from the era etched itself in my mind. It goes like this: “I had a little bird, it’s name was Enza, I opened the window and in flew Enza.” Of course, this seemingly lighthearted rhyme is a rather punny (sorry…) metaphor for the spread of influenza (“in flew Enza”). As we’re in the midst of a particularly nasty and newsworthy flu season, it seems like a good time to flash back to that flu epidemic that nearly 100 years later remains in our consciousness. Like the rest of the world, Iowa State University was not immune to the disease, and life on campus was impacted greatly.

Flu1918

State Gym transformed into a temporary hospital during the Spanish influenza epidemic, 1918. RS 13/16/D, Box 1123

Spanish influenza began its spread in late August, 1918. Shipments of troops moving out across the world during World War I aided the transmission of the disease. By October of that year, the epidemic swept into Iowa, and the state first reported cases of influenza on October 5th. Although the first reports were submitted at that time, it seems that the disease was here a bit earlier – Camp Dodge was quarantined on September 28th. The epidemic was at its peak in Iowa the week of October 19th with a total of 21,117 cases, but the disease didn’t significantly disappear until the summer of 1919. By the time the outbreak ended in 1919, approximately 20 million people died the world over. This website on “The Great Pandemic,” as it is sometimes called, provides lots of information on the spread of the Spanish flu, including its effects in each state.

A small portion of influenza diagnoses in the Iowa State College Hospital record book for the Motor Corps and SATC, October, 1918. RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 12

A small portion of influenza diagnoses in the Iowa State College Hospital record book for the Motor Corps and SATC, October, 1918. Notice how they started to abbreviate after awhile. RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 12

While all of this was going on, our Student Army Training Corps, or SATC, was training military men on campus for WWI. October 1918 brought disruption to the training program with many SATC men falling ill with Spanish influenza. In the Iowa State College Hospital’s record book, there are pages upon pages of influenza cases, primarily from October through December 1918. Eventually the College Hospital was overflowing with patients, and other buildings, including State Gym, were turned into additional hospital facilities. An excerpt from a letter from President Stanton to the Committee on Education and Special Training, Washington, DC, describes the situation on October 9th, 1918:

“We have some 300 cases of the Influenza, but have ample hospital facilities, physicians and attendants. The number of new cases are decreasing, those discharged from the hospital exceed those admitted, and we feel that we are facing toward normal conditions. We have a strict quarantine separating us from the rest of the world.” (RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 14)

The quarantine of which he wrote involved guards posted around campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone who wished to enter or leave campus required permission and were given passes to present to the guards, like the one below.

FluPass002

A pass issued to a faculty member during the 1918 influenza epidemic campus quarantine. RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 1

Despite President Stanton’s optimism in the letter, the epidemic was far from over at Iowa State. In a memo to the heads of departments dated October 12, 1918, he enacted the following:

“At meeting of the Board of Deans on October 8, 1918 it was decided that, for the time being, complete segregation of men from women students be established, including segregation at class periods.” (RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 9)

The logic behind this was likely that all SATC members were men; therefore separating the men from the women would reduce the spread of the disease. It was a method that seems to have worked. Out of the 53 people that died at Iowa State, only two were women. The other 51 were all SATC men. The men’s names are included on the WWI list in Gold Star Hall in the Memorial Union.

For more information on the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 at Iowa State, see the Department of Military Science Subject Files, the James Thomas Emmerson Papers, and the Charles F. Tous Papers. And of course, do what you can to prevent the flu and its spread this season – tips can be found here. Stay healthy!

 

Posted by: bishopae | January 13, 2015

CyPix: Memorial Union in snow

Students returning to campus this week for the start of spring semester were greeted by a campus scene not unlike the photo below:

A five-story building is in the background on the right side of the image, with a frozen lake in the foreground.

This photograph shows the Memorial Union overlooking an ice-covered Lake LaVerne, unknown date. RS 4/8/4.

With sub-zero wind chills, frozen lakes, and piles of snow, it seems a long, cold trudge until spring break on sunny tropical beaches! Special Collections wishes everyone warm thoughts and a prosperous and productive semester!

Posted by: Kim | January 8, 2015

“House Babies” at Iowa State

"Jack" (RS 12/5/4, 1925-1936, box 7)

“Jack” (RS 12/5/4, 1925-1936, box 7)

Imagine that it’s your last year in college. Before you can graduate you have to move in with 8 or so roommates (plus a resident advisor) to a single family house on campus. You will have to keep the house spotless, host a dinner or birthday party, decorate, manage accounts, schedule leisure time, continue with your other classes, and take care of an actual baby for six weeks. You and your new roommates will take turn being cook, accountant, hostess, manager, and “child director,” and you have to do it all for a grade! For over thirty years (1924-1958) female Iowa State students and “borrowed” children formed temporary families in the Home Management houses. By the time the program was over, Iowa State students had participated in raising 257 children.

Read More…

Posted by: Whitney | January 6, 2015

CyPix: Skating in a Winter Wonderland

We’re back! Classes don’t start for another week, but we are here and ready to go. Let’s start the new year off with an image from the Descartes Pascal Papers, MS 91:

Young men ice skating, undated. MS 91, Box 9, Folder 1.

Young men ice skating in rural Iowa, undated. MS 91, Box 9, Folder 1.

This glass plate negative shows a group of gentlemen posing for the camera while out ice skating somewhere in rural Iowa. The cold didn’t stop these guys from having fun! This photo and several other from Pascal can be found on our Flickr site, and more information on photographer, farmer, and seed corn breeder Pascal can be found in this online exhibit. And, of course, this image and many others are available in our department, so stop in, warm up, and have a look!

Posted by: bishopae | December 23, 2014

CyPix: Happy holidays!

Today’s photo post shows women from Alpha Delta Phi sorority decorating their Christmas tree in 1953.

Members of Alpha Delta Phi sorority decorating their Christmas tree, 1953.

Members of Alpha Delta Phi sorority decorating their Christmas tree, 1953.

We would like to remind everyone that the Special Collections will be closed for the winter break beginning tomorrow, December 24, at 3pm. We will be open to the public again on January 5 at 10 am. In the meantime, feel free to visit us virtually at our website, our Flickr page, and the Digital Collections.

Whatever occasions you celebrate this time of year, have a safe and happy break!

Posted by: Whitney | December 19, 2014

Christmas Menus Courtesy of Homemaker’s Half-Hour

It’s that time again! Time to get together with family and friends and celebrate the holiday season. For many, that season means Christmas, and with Christmas comes lots and lots of food. In case any of you are still trying to figure out your menus, here are some ideas courtesy of WOI-TV’s Homemaker’s Half-Hour. While these menus were originally created for Christmas, I see no reason why they couldn’t be used or adapted for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or anything else anybody might celebrate.

Christmas week menus, 1945 (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)

Christmas week menus, 1945 (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)

This three-way Christmas dinner menu (broadcast the week of December 17-22, 1945) gives you plenty of options to choose from in each category. Comments were made on the various dishes in this menu throughout the week:

  • Fruit Appetizer: mixed fruit cup or fruit salad or fruit juice
  • Bird in the Hand: Roast goose, roast duck, or “mock duck” from lamb or pork tenderloins
  • Stuffings: celery stuffing, rice and dried apricot stuffing, savory dressing with walnut meats
  • Potatoes: honeyed sweet potatoes or fluffy mashed potatoes with rich brown gravy
  • A Homey Vegetable: cheese creamed onions, mashed turnip or squash or green beans
  • Festive Relish Tray: celery, pickles, carrot sticks, etc.
  • Sweets: spiced currants, gooseberries or cranberries
  • Rolls: assorted hot rolls (refrigerator roll dough) as parker-house, clover leaf, crescent
  • Dessert: steamed pudding or mince pie (choice or carrot pudding with lemon sauce; raisin pudding with foamy sauce, plum pudding, cranberry pudding vanilla sauce, etc.)
  • Beverage

Below are a couple of recipes featured in the notes for this menu’s episodes.

Recipe for carrot pudding and lemon sauce (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)

Recipes for carrot pudding and lemon sauce (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)

Some items in other Christmas menus include the following:

  • Christmas dinner, 1946: Oyster baked potatoes (presumably using leftover oysters from Christmas Eve’s oyster stew – a tradition in many families)
  • Christmas dinner, 1946: Molded cranberry nut salad
  • Christmas dinner, 1946: Plum pudding with hard sauce (a combination of butter, sugar, and brandy or rum) for those who fancy an English Christmas tradition
  • Christmas Luncheon or Supper, 1947: Oyster or salsify soup (salsify is a root vegetable that tastes like oysters when cooked; salsify soup is sometimes called “poor man’s oyster stew”)
  • Christmas Luncheon or Supper, 1947: Fruit cake
  • Christmas Dinner, 1950: Chilled grapefruit sections with red hots
  • Christmas Dinner, 1950: Bride’s salad (mixture of fruit including white grapes and nuts folded into whipped cream; lemon juice and sugar may be added to the whipped cream if desired)

Unfortunately we don’t have recipes for all of these items, but I’m sure similar recipes can be found online. Well, maybe not for everything, but then again the internet is full of surprises!

Many more menus – holiday or not – are available in the WOI Radio and Television Records, as well as scripts of Homemaker’s Half-Hour and other productions. Our cookbook collection is also full of some great and interesting recipes, some of which you can view online.

Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate, we wish you a very happy holiday!

Posted by: bishopae | December 18, 2014

Special Collections bids farewell to Stephanie

Stephanie Bennett, ISU Project Archivist.

Stephanie Bennett, ISU Project Archivist.

Here is a special post to announce some exciting news.

A little over a year ago, Stephanie introduced herself and the two other project archivists to our readers. Now, Stephanie will be the first of us to leave ISU as she moves on to a new Collections Archivist position at Wake Forest University Special Collection and Archives. Congratulations, Stephanie!!!

Stephanie’s many contributions to the Special Collections department can be quantified in numerable ways—from processing almost 400 linear feet of archival collections, to greeting and assisting patrons over hundreds of hours at our public services desk, to composing more than 30 interesting and informative blog posts. But there are many other ways that Stephanie has contributed to the department over the last year-and-a-half that will be greatly missed: her quick wit, her enthusiasm, and her insights on all things archival.

Thanks for the laughs and for all the hard work, Stephanie! ISU will miss you *sniff*, but we know you will rock your next job!

Stephanie’s last day is tomorrow, so please join us in wishing Stephanie all the very best in her new endeavors in a warmer climate.

Posted by: Stephanie | December 16, 2014

CyPix: Watching and Walking in Winter Wonderland

Morrill Hall in snow circa 1905

Morrill Hall, circa 1905, from RS 4/8/4

Last week, Kim had some fun arts and crafts project ideas from the archives to keep our hands busy while it snows. If I’m telling the truth, my favorite thing to do when it’s snowing is… watch the snow. Since it’s not currently snowing, I’ll content myself with some photographs, like the one above of Morrill Hall dated around 1905.

Lyon Hall 1979

Women outside Lyon Hall, 1979, from RS 7/4

If I do have to go outside, though, good company is important. These women outside Lyon Hall in 1979 are making the most of their winter wonderland adventures – which most likely include class!

Posted by: Kim | December 12, 2014

(Vintage) Things to Do in Winter When Its Cold

Plowed road passing a snow-covered farm with farmhouse and swine (09-02-H.IAHEES.529-11-04)

Plowed road passing a snow-covered farm with farmhouse and swine (09-02-H.IAHEES.529-11-04)

Does it (or will it) look like this where you are this winter?  Not a time to venture outside without bundling up! I like to spend winter curled up on the couch, watching a mini-series, and getting some knitting/crocheting/beadweaving/tatting/weaving time in. Being a multi-crafty person I am always interested in finding “vintage” craft patterns, instructions, and ideas.

I gave myself the challenge of finding craft ideas from within our collections. This might seem quite difficult – our collections are strong in agriculture, science, and technology. However, we also document the University and so we have collections that match the major research and teaching areas on campus, one of which is the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. We also have the papers of alumni, rare books, and Iowa-related materials in other areas. So, after scouring our collections I’ve found several fun things you can do indoors this winter!

Read More…

Posted by: bishopae | December 9, 2014

CyPix: Library study time!

It’s Dead Week at Iowa State University, and here in the library, we see a lot of this:

Students hard at work in the library reading room, circa 1940. Photograph Collection box 146.

Students hard at work in the library reading room, circa 1940. Photograph Collection box 146.

Of course, the building has changed significantly since 1940 — not to mention the hair and clothing styles — but evidently the popularity of the library as a study space persists.

Some people prefer a quieter place to study in the stacks:

A view of the stacks in the then-new library, with a male student working in a study carrel, April, 1925.

A view of the stacks in the then-new library, with a male student working in a study carrel, April, 1925. Photograph Collection, box 146.

And, of course, we also see a lot of this:

A student looking exhausted and resting in the library, 1957.

A student looking exhausted and resting in the library, 1957. Photograph Collection, box 147.

For more historical photos of Parks Library, check out this earlier blog post, or check out our Flickr page.

If you need a place to study or sleep, remember the library!

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